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Santa Cruz Theme Parks

Santa Cruz
Theme Parks

Weeeee!!!  Ahhhhh!!!!  Yeehaw!!!

There is nothing like the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk's Big Dipper to get the heart pumping! Here is a list of Santa Cruz and other close by Theme Parks! This guide is especially useful to help you identify age appropriate theme parks for the young, very young and young at heart! And yes, even ornery teenagers may find our list useful…DUH! 

There are several major theme parks just an hour or so away from Santa Cruz, so we included them here just incase you needed a quick 'coaster fix.

To search other vacation locations, go to our Destination Explorer and search away! 

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk – Santa Cruz

Voted the world’s Best Seaside Amusement Park in 2007 and 2008, the historic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk features both modern and classic thrill rides, restaurants, miniature golf, video game arcades, and family bowling, all located on a mile-long sandy beach. On the south end of the park, is their section for young kids. The admission-free Boardwalk offers affordable ticket options and free summer entertainment. A truly unique California experience! 

Gilroy Gardens – Gilroy

(formally Bonfante Gardens) 

The family oriented theme park has over 40 rides, gardens and exhibits.  The Park's mission is to entertain and educate families — especially young children — making it the most family friendly theme park in the region.   

Great America – San Jose

Great America was recently voted the Bay Area's most exciting theme park! Along with their ultra thrill seeking rides, they have Planet Snoopy – a section dedicated to the younger children.

Six Flags – Vallejo

The park is a 135-acre park featuring awesome rides, great shows, and incredible attractions. This park has something for all ages. It has rides specifically designed for thrill seekers, teens, tots and the whole family. If amusement rides are not your thing, they have plenty of animal exhibits and shows. 

 

 

 

  

What’s on Tap

Events

Santa Cruz Festivals & Events:

Open Studios Art Tour – Weekends during Oct. 2016

Welcome Back Monarchs Day – Oct. 9, 2016  10am – 4pm.

Annual Monte Foundation Fireworks Extravaganza! – Oct. 9, 2016

Santa Cruz Pumpkin Patches—Oct. 2016

Santa Cruz Halloween Celebrations—Oct. 2016

 

For more event information, click on our Festivals & Events page for Santa Cruz.

 

Attractions

Top Santa Cruz Attractions:

 

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Fun for all ages.

Santa Cruz Campgrounds

Ocean views or Redwoods? Over 27 campgrounds and RV Parks

Santa Cruz Fishing 

Fall is fishing and crabbing season in Santa Cruz!

Santa Cruz Surfing

With 11 world-class surf breaks such as Steamer Lane and Pleasure Point, it is easy to understand why the greatest surfers in the world call Santa Cruz home!

Whale Watching – Whale Watching December through May

 

For more information on local attractions, click on the Attractions or Recreational Activities.

 

 

Advisories

The Region’s Fall Advisories:

Traffic Conditions. Rush hour traffic can be extremely challenging – especially along Mission Street and Highway 1 between Santa Cruz and Capitols. It’s a good idea to plan ahead and arrive early and leave late. Go to www.caltrans.com to learn about road conditions.

Yes, it’s still water, water, water! California is undergoing an extreme drought. If you are planning a lake vacation be sure to check about water levels. That rafting trip, fishing, or skiing can be impacted.

EXTREME fire danger. The drought has created a very dangerous combination of dry vegetation and no moisture in the air to help contain any fire. Please use extreme caution during your trip.